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Do You Have Funnel Vision?

In the last few weeks, every time I turn around I see an article about funnels or meet someone who is passionate about them.

Maybe you’re like me. I’ve heard the terms, “funnel” and “sales funnel”, used in marketing strategy for years. But I wasn’t sure how I could apply it in my business.

The funnel/ice cream cone graphics just didn’t click with me (and yes, that’s a deliberate play on words for my tech clients and colleagues. You’re welcome). If it isn’t fun or I can’t pick it up instantly, it falls off my radar.

Funnels, just like SEO and fake news, are a real thing that are important to understand if you want to grow a business.

Very true. But If it isn’t fun or I can’t pick it up instantly, it falls off my radar.

Turns out funnels are just connecting points, opportunities to interact with your brand. Another term connected to funnels that really resonates with me is the “customer journey.”

Above you see a traditional cone-shaped graphic. I decided to create a simple, non-traditional version. Instead of calling it a funnel, I call it a “Pathway to profit” with connection points instead of offers. Potato/Potahto. Whatever clicks for you is what you should call it!

Here’s what happens on this pathway:

A guy stands outside of Coffee Magic, the coffee shop you pass every day on your way to work. He’s offering free samples of their newest cappuccino. You try one, you like it and you want more.

You go inside and buy a small cup.

Sales Funnel ExampleThe next day, instead of walking past Coffee Magic, you stop in to buy another cup. This time it’s the large size cappuccino. Then you notice they also offer an instant version to make at home. You buy that too and make it at home. It’s okay, but it’s not as good as the cup they brew at the café.

Next time you go in for a cup, you see their branded Coffee Magic brewer (only $179!). Now you can make a real Coffee Magic cappuccino at home! You buy it and the accessories to go with it.

Then you find out that they offer an exclusive, brewing class with a celebrity barista. Sure, it costs $1,000, but they are going to reveal the secret to making the perfect Coffee Magic cappuccino! That’s priceless!

And that’s a funnel. You offer a free “taste” of your product or service, then you offer several ways for a customer to experience it/ have it. Each offer gives the customer a little bit more of your business at increasing price points.

Disney has mastered this.

You go see the newest Disney movie.

A week later, you stop at the Disney Store and buy your kids the stuffed, plush character, the coloring book, and costume pieces to re-enact the movie at home.

Then your kids beg you to take them to Disney World so they can spend hours surrounded by the new rides in the movie experience.

Next vacation, you book a Disney cruise! Where you spend $3,000 on a weeklong boat ride with 2,000 other raving Disney fans.

It all comes back to the story.

It’s the story that customers take to heart and connect to – whether you clean gutters or clean teeth. The stories you tell about how your business enhances their world are what keep them on the path or in the funnel. Those stories should include the person or people who make or deliver your products and services too.

How you make an impact on and connect with your customer is what will make people come back, buy more, refer you to others, and sing your praises every time someone asks about you.

If you’ve been wondering how you can create a pathway, funnel or multiple opportunities for people to buy what you offer, I’ll be bringing you info and an interview or two with experts!

Already using a funnel for your business? What are you offering your customers at the first connection point? I’d love to know!

If you’re looking for a speaker for your next sales meeting, chamber of commerce event, or association luncheon, I’d love to speak with you! I enjoy sharing business-building marketing tips, shortcuts, and secrets with business owners in all fields.  You can reach me at (646) 469-1264 or melinda@melindathomascreative.com.